1855 Memorial and Request by Chippewa and Ottawa to President
Translation of the Memorial and Request of Chippewa and Ottowa Michigan
Grand Traverse, Michigan
January 16th 1855
We the Chippeways and Ottowa Indians residing in the State of Michigan desire to make known our unanimous wish and mind.
We love the spot where our Forefathers bones are laid and we desire that our bones may rest beside theirs also. Now, Father, when our chiefs sold their lands to you, your advice and counsel to us, was that we should abandon our Indian habits and customs. We have renounced, them, and are trying to follow your advice and examples.
You white people are laboring for your children when you accumulate property, you lay it aside, that they may have the benefit when you are gone. So ever do we desire to do the same for our children.
Our children are reaching forth their hands to you and desire you to keep the money for them which is our due.
You know what is best for us. Our request is to have the interest of that money distributed yearly amongst our children, to enable them to pay for lands and the taxes.
We want to learn about our reservation, about the fields and the payments for our improvements.
We desire you to inform us fully in regard to all our rights under the different Treaties that we and our people may know and understand.
We have purchased lands to make us homes, where we can bring up our children, and from this spot we have risen up to go to Washington, hoping that our wishes and desire may be granted.
We hereunto place our hands:
Wabochik of Sault Ste. Marie
Chaowaywa of Michilimackinac
1855 7th February
We the Indians (undersigned) residing upon the Grand River with one mind agree with our friends and connexions and desire that this our untied request may be granted. We have the co?? and names of the chiefs who are absent and all are anxious that our wish may be truly granted to us. Our old men and young men are agreed and we desire of our Father to inform us all about the old Treaties made with our ancestors; that we can know and understand what belongs to us and desire our request be granted we have placed our names to this.
(names taken from memorial in native language as it differs in spelling than the translated version and names on original are missing on translated.)
Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1828-1880
National Archives Microfilm Publications M234 Roll 404 1853-1855